What a time to be alive! In the past three weeks, we have witnessed one of the most radical and important changes our country has seen since 1994.
On 3 August 2016, voters put South Africa on a new trajectory. And we reaffirmed that we work as a nation. Our democracy works, and South Africans are learning how to use it.
And South Africa’s opposition parties have successfully navigated the turbulent sea of coalition negotiations and emerged with practical, workable arrangements to govern those municipalities where the majority of voters voted for change.
The DA has formed a broad coalition with the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the Congress of the People (COPE), the Freedom Front Plus (FF+), the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM), bound by the shared principle of putting South Africa first. The EFF chose not to enter into coalitions, opting rather to remain in opposition.
With DA mayors, this coalition is now governing Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Mogale City in Gauteng, as well as Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape, Thabazimbi and Modimolle in Limpopo, and Metsimaholo in the Free State. I am confident that we can work together constructively for the benefit of all.
So the DA now governs 32 councils in five provinces in South Africa: Western Cape (with Beaufort West, Cape Agulhas, Cederberg, Matzikama, Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert being new), Eastern Cape (NMB and Kouga), Gauteng (Tshwane, Johannesburg, Mogale City and Midvaal), Limpopo (Thabazimbi and Modimolle/Mookgopong), and Free State (Metsimaholo).
Most critical of all, we now govern four of SA’s eight metros. So we have the potential to improve the lives of around 16 million people– not just through clean government and efficient service delivery, but by creating an attractive environment for businesses to operate in SA’s major economic hubs.
While the ANC’s ship is sinking, South Africa’s tide is rising.
LGE2016 has shown us that South Africa is bigger than the ANC. And the voters are in charge.
They are the masters of her fate. They are the captains of her soul. Amandla awethu!